The Art

Horseshoe Crab, 6x12, oil on canvas, private collection, ©2009 Honor Marks
I paint native and endangered wildflowers and the occasional beach find as well. I am well versed in wildflower lore and love researching the species I've been painting. Take this horseshoe crab for instance. Despite the name, horseshoe crabs are not crabs but are related to arachnids (spiders, scorpions). The scientific name Lunataspis aurora, means "crescent moon shield of the dawn." Dating back 450 million years (long before dinosaurs) these creatures are literally living fossils. Today, marine shorelines worldwide are being threatened by human activity and horseshoe crab populations have suffered. In South Carolina it is illegal to possess or kill a horseshoe crab. Although populations are currently declining, they have successfully weathered many previous crises including the mass extinction that saw the demise of the dinosaurs and 95% of sea life 65 million years ago. The horseshoe crab survived.